Cora McCauley Palmer’s Memoirs (written for her son, Charles) continue:
Cora is age 11 living with the Palmer’s in May 1895.
“In the fall, we would make sorghum molasses, as they always raised a patch of cane. Then they made apple butter with the sorghum — also pumpkin butter, using the sorghum instead of sugar. They were very thrifty and tried to produce as much of their food as they could, sell the surplus, and buy what they could not produce — such as sugar. coffee, salt, soda, baking powder, rice, etc. For their cereal, they ground wheat in the coffee mill, which is very good cooked like rolled oats, only it takes longer to cook.
In the spring, they made maple syrup as they had a ‘sugar orchard’ — they were called then — of about 100 trees. They sold the syrup at $1.00 per gallon, and they also made maple sugar and sold it for 50 cents per pound. They kept about 20 gallons of the syrup to use themselves and everyone really ‘sopped’ up the biscuits in the ‘lasses,’ as they called it. I would bake about 40 biscuits for breakfast, as we only had the syrup at that meal.
For his large family, your grandfather (William Perry Palmer) would buy flour by the barrel, also sugar. They bought green coffee by the 50 pound bag. Your grandmother (Mary Palmer) would roast it in the ove — in big pans — it would have to be stirred often during the roasting time. She would then pour the white of an egg over the hot browned coffee berries, stirring ’til it was coated all over with the egg white. Then it was cooled and stored in jars ready for use — they would grind just enough for each meal.
They always had their corn ground for the cornbread. Your grandfather would select the big ears of white corn (for no one here in Boone county grew anything but white corn). The boys would shell it–by hand, of course–about a bushel at a time. Then one of the boys would take the sack of corn on a horse to Gallup’s Mill, just east of Hinton on Rocky Fork Creek. It was powered at first by a water wheel, but later it was run by a steam engine. In later years, they had a grist mill at Brown’s Station on the Wabsh Railroad which was powered by steam”